Monday, March 6, 2017

Here's Why I'm Incredibly Grateful I'm No Longer a 13 Year Old Blogger

(inspired by Rosie's post) (prepare for a plethora of horribly embarassing photos)
    So I have been here quite awhile haven't I. Before I kick this off, I want to just put out there that I
love writing and I love HF and most importantly, I love myself and anyone and everyone who has continued to follow me on this quite odd part of my life. Along with this, I do not say any of these words as a "kick in the face" or idea that I didn't love the attention I received years ago, I simply have different views about my past than I did previously.
me, circa 2013, long hair was never flattering on me 

   I started How Fitting in February of 2013. I was 13 years old and midway through 7th grade. For all those who aren't aware, I am currently 17 and in my second semester of 11th grade. Weird right? I want to give a little background, draw a picture of 13 year old Annie if you will. For starters, I was very depressed. In a regular middle school fashion, my closest friends (since elementary school) had recently left me and I was having horrible waves of loneliness, self loathing, and routine panic attacks. Though my rather upbeat and excitable style of writing at the time didn't show it, I was in an incredibly unstable place with myself and emotions. Actually, the reason I started How Fitting was (OK OK not just to be like Tavi Gevinson) to gain self esteem and self security. I began writing about the media I loved from my favorite band at the time, All Time Low, to the horribly questionable clothing I wore. However cringy they were, I had many many obsessions and needed a place to talk about them (I was yet to make friends who shared my loves). Though I am so (so so) happy I'm no longer the same, something me and my 13 year old self share is our constant curiosity and love for loving things. I really do believe if How Fitting didn't exist, I wouldn't be as fascinated with everything as I am now.
   Though we are only talking about 4 years ago, blogs and the Internet were quite different. I really mean it. I mean this was at the real kickoff of fashion bloggers becoming celebrities and brands getting on the bandwagon of collaborating. Along with this, there were *so* many less blogs- it almost seemed like everyone knew each other. I'm not going to lie, I really miss that mentality and state in which 13 year olds having no idea what they're doing could easily build a community. As I got more and more into it, I gained a larger and larger following until reaching up to 2,000 followers which was insane because if you saw how absolutely terrible I was, I have literally no idea why 1998 (not including my parents of course) people actually wanted to read 2013 How Fitting. I was receiving comments claiming I was a "precocious child" (I remember this comment so well because I admittedly didn't know what that meant at the time and originally took it as an insult) along with emails and opportunities to work with various companies (OK who allowed that?? What company actually wanted to work with a 13 year old??). It was all super surreal.
the classic photo I used at age 14 on here- I'm embarrassed to say I have this same dye job except it doesn't look nearly as good
   As I turned 14, my mentality became quite different as I was a year away from high school and on the brink of what seemed like false maturity. A lot happened throughout 2014 How Fitting; I tried (and failed) to create an online publication, I had my first "real" boyfriend, my first "real" "heartbreak", and holy hell I even came out as gay on here. I'm not going to go in the pretentious reflective direction, but HF really helped me become a lot more self aware. I was so unsure of myself before I started blogging and not only did my writing improve, having everything out there almost helped me "create myself" (or at least the side I wanted people to see). And that's where I get into the part in which I explain the title and arguably what this entire post is about. I went through a lot in the 8th grade- I still would rather not have most of these things public but for starters, my depression got a lot worse. I started Prozac. I went through yet another period of having no friends. Yet through it all, I continued to write as though my life was filled with picnics and cos playing and playlists with songs no one has ever heard of until the point where I got into the habit of being that character. A lot of 2014 How Fitting has no actual reflection on what I actually was. How Fitting almost taught me how to lie and put on a persona. Becoming a blogger yourself makes you pull back the curtain on everyone else you admire and understand how taxing and hard it can be sometimes to put on this "mask" on everything being OK. Along with this, though I love writing, I really do, I really wish I took some time out of how invested I was in this blog and actually could be thirteen and not pressured at seemingly every second.
me at LIM summer 2015!! I was such a cute n emo bb!

   Moving onto 2015, I not only began high school but also started interning at Nordstrom (at 14-15 years old, I was their youngest intern) which turned out to be a 2 year long anxiety attack. Thank god that's over. By 15, after spending the summer and fall of 2014 at FIT, I was describing my next summer of being at LIM's Fashion Lab (on scholarship) to the girls at Nordstrom before leaving for break. Like most times, this was met with a string of "wow I wish I could be as motivated" or "wait you're 15??" or something along the lines of matching my rather unusual level of determination and relative success with my age. Though I would love to continue to scriptually jack myself off, what I'm trying to say here is how pressured I actually felt on the inside. I hated being the youngest (which I always tended to be) and I hated being the constant wunderkind- it's honestly so much to put onto someone. The problem was I was putting it all onto myself. Ever since the age of 13, when How Fitting was born, I have continued to have the same mentality of "never enough"; there's always a new level of success, there's always a better offer, nothing is ever good enough. Though this, in theory, is a motivated and fine way to live life, I have set myself up to fail. I'll never be satisfied. This entire piece seems, like I said, textual masturbation but in all honesty, every single one of these things gave me so much anxiety.
an outfit post at age 15
   I'm currently 17, as said previously, and since then have quit my Nordstrom internship, been taking FIT classes (for actual pure fun- that was such an odd concept to me at 14), and I don't know, became the fashion editor and staff writer for several publications I'm head over heels in love with. I like to analyze my rather atypical early teenage years and really wish I could tell my 13 year old self to please stop stressing out over stupid shit like your future twenty years in fashion (and *please* stop wearing that plaid cropped blazer). I'm not going to pretend as though the last 4 years haven't been beautiful in their own way, but god am I glad to no longer be a 13 year old blogger anymore. I love what I do now and I definitely see me doing this for years to come, but also wish I was able to separate my constant need to success from having fun. Having your 13 year old self imprinted on the internet is an odd thing. This isn't a cautionary tale, more of look behind the curtain of what it's actually like to start something like this at such an early age. I love How Fitting and everywhere it has taken me, I love the every single person I've gotten to work with on silly projects and more serious projects and this really cool project me and my friend Zoe one time did about sex ed that we never published, and most importantly, I love the friends I've made through ranting about Doctor Who and thrift shopping and dressing up and am so excited for my future of not being a 13 year old. Cheers to four years.


1 comment :

  1. Yay! A new post!
    I loved this one -and I totally wish I had the balls to dye my hair as much as you have hahah
    -Cait xx